Several years ago, the NFL considered abandoning its all-star game because the all-stars were largely giving half-assed efforts. Now, the threat to the ongoing existence of the game comes from the fact that the rosters consist not of all-stars but a collection of alternates who didn’t qualify for the game but who became critical to the effort as nearly half of the players bailed, either because they’ll be playing in the Super Bowl, because they’re injured, because they’re “injured,” or because they simply don’t want to go.
It’s prompting speculation among coaches that the game is on “life support,” and that down the road it will go away.
The NFL has rattled the sword from time to time about killing the game, but people still watch it. Which makes it difficult to justify getting rid of it.
If/when it essentially becomes a showcase for the future stars and veteran who never made it, maybe people won’t be watching. And if/when a player tears an ACL or pops an Achilles tendon while playing in a meaningless game, more and more players will refuse to play.